Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins and the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department have worked diligently and effectively within the two facilities – the Suffolk County House of Correction and the Suffolk County Jail – to ensure the health and safety of both staff and the people in Department care and custody.
While successfully maintaining these efforts to isolate and prevent the spread of the virus inside his facilities, Sheriff Tompkins has since widened his scope of protection to include the residents of Suffolk County, and those well beyond, in an effort to keep them safe and healthy.
With an initiative that kicked off in early March, Sheriff Tompkins and the Department created a series of video public service announcements (PSA) designed to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations among residents in Boston, Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop and across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to help lower the spiking infection rate in the state and hasten the end of the pandemic.
Beginning with his first PSA titled, “It’s Up To Us,” and producing five subsequent videos, Sheriff Tompkins has assembled an impressive roster of local elected officials of color, community activists, clergy, and medical professionals to target the communities that have been among the hardest hit by the virus with the highest concentration of essential, public-facing employees and the least amount of access to quality medical care.
PSAs have included outreach to women, seniors, and members of the Haitian, Cape Verdean and Latinx communities and feature, among others, a distinguished list of participants that includes: Acting Mayor Kim Janey; Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins; State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz; State Representatives Russell Holmes, Nika Elugardo, Jon Santiago, Elizabeth Miranda and Brandy Fluker Oakley; Boston City Councilors Michelle Wu, Andrea Campbell, Annissa Essaibi George, Lydia Edwards, Ricardo Arroyo, and Julia Mejia; Register of Probate Felix Arroyo, Sr., former Senator Linda Dorcena Forry; former State Representatives Marie St. Fleur and Evandro Carvalho; East Boston Neighborhood Health Center CEO Manny Lopes; City of Boston Chief of Economic Development John Barros; Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, Chief Executive Officer of Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción; Father Miracle; Pastor Keke; President and CEO of El Mundo Boston, Alberto Vassallo III; Chief Diversity Officer for State Street Corp. Paul Francisco; General Counsel at Compass Working Capital Betty Francisco; Co-Founder of Haitian Americans United Gertrude Delsoin; Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Assistant Deputy Superintendent Abiezer Ayuso and, of course, Sheriff Tompkins himself.
“For those people with the platform and ability to step up and help to promote the safety and wellbeing of our communities, I feel that it is absolutely incumbent upon us to do so,” said Sheriff Tompkins. “We need to do everything in our power to encourage our brothers and sisters to get vaccinated because they are vital to our efforts in overcoming this pandemic. We’ve already lost far, far too many people to COVID-19 and we need to do what we can to prevent any further losses of our family members friends and citizens.” Residents are encouraged to consult with their medical practitioner or visit: www.mass.gov for information about where and when they can receive their vaccination.